3 Reasons Why Cockroaches Would Make Excellent Entrepreneurs

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by Ryan

It rained quite a bit here the past few days and I’ve learned that cockroaches are not a fan of the rain, because tonight alone I’ve killed three of them and the roach traps are full. Perhaps I should invest in an iguana? Although they’re not attractive and they’re a bit creepy, watching these guys scuttle around reminded me a bit of the traits of entrepreneurs. Odd, I realize, so in my inspiration brought on by cockroaches I’d like to tell you three reasons why cockroaches would make excellent entrepreneurs.

They’re Quick – Have you seen a cockroach scurry when you turn the lights on? Any entrepreneur has to be quick on their toes to secure a new client, find a competitive niche, or develop new business relationships. They have to work twice as hard starting from scratch, so speed helps! Opportunities are harder to secure when starting from nothing so quickly seizing them is to the advantage of survival for the entrepreneur.

They Don’t Die Easily – I can kick em across the room, smoosh em, and try to poison them, and they still won’t die. They take a lickin and keep on tickin! Successful entrepreneurs are much the same. Although I’m sure most people aren’t trying to kill them, most people are trying to kill their dreams and hopes for success, however, they get right back up and scurry towards those dreams without a second thought. This is probably one of the most annoying things about cockroaches, but why they’re so successful.

They’re Adaptable – Roaches eat anything… freshly minted entreprenuers are much the same… Alan Corey ate ramen for three months straight starting out! Now I don’t necessarily mean that entrepreneurs should nly be adaptable with their diet, but they should be willing to do anything it takes to be successful (within the law and moral codes of course πŸ˜‰ ). They’ll hang out under the fridge for days on end, eat poo, and nearly get killed by humans simply so they can survive, what do you do so your business can survive?

Although I’m not so sure a cockroach has a vision or a business plan they do hold some valuable traits, which make them successful in the business of scavenging and annoying the heck out of me! Persistence, being adaptable, and being quick all allow both the cockroach and the entrepreneur the ability to survive and dare I say thrive in their current markets. They may not be lovable, but they don’t have to be lovable to be successful… neither does an entrepreneur.

Do you have to deal with cockroaches?

Do you know of any entrepreneurs who are as persistent as these little buggers?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Daniel Johnston May 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Great post, very funny relation. πŸ™‚

Certainly agree about quickness. You really have to take quick action to grow quickly. For example, the rumor of the way Apple got started: A friend of Steve Job’s showed him the computer that Palo Lowto Research Group was coming out with later in the week. Supposedly, Steve hired an engineer and worked all day and night all week and beat them to the punch. This is just a rumor, however, and may or may not be true, but either way, the point is the same.

Definitely being resilient and adaptable are important traits to have. Owning a business is usually a bit of a roller coaster ride, and most business’s fail because they’re owners fail to have those traits, among numerous other reasons, of course.

No, I don’t have to deal with cockroaches, but many entrepreneur’s I know have the traits you describe. I’ll spare naming them, because almost every successful entrepreneur has to be persistent when their business is growing in those early stages, as well as when something drastic happens. It’s something that enterpreuner’s just have to have, or they’re going to have to give in.

Roman Soluk May 5, 2010 at 2:20 am

Nice post. Especially I like the second trait. It is, perhaps, the most important. PERSISTENCE is one of the main trait of a successful person. With the help of this trait we can overcome all difficulties and achieve our goal.

P.S. Fortunately, I do not have to deal with cockroaches! πŸ™‚
.-= Roman Soluk´s last blog ..The main benefits of walking outdoors =-.

Kiesha @ We Blog Better May 5, 2010 at 2:26 am

Back in the day when I was a kid, almost everyone on our block had roaches – and NOT the big beetle kind (that you’re probably dealing with) – they are the real hood roaches (german roaches) – the kind that you can set off a fogger bomb and all it does it make them drunk πŸ™‚ Not pleasant creatures – at all!
Anyway, it’s hilarious how you make the connection because it’s true, you do have to be as persistent and as adaptive as a roach to survive, but the key is to not be as ANNOYING as a roach!
.-= Kiesha @ We Blog Better´s last blog ..What are you doing to continue your blogging education? =-.

ChrisFM May 5, 2010 at 7:50 am

I grew up in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, so I know all too well how resilient and adaptive these critters are. You relating them to entrepreneurs made me LOL, but I can agree with the points you made. Well done!

.-= ChrisFM´s last blog ..Where Does Your Happiness Come From? =-.

LenciB: Falling Into favor May 5, 2010 at 8:27 am

Yuck!!! The picture freaked me out. lol

with that being said, I love the connection though. It’s sad when a roach is more persistent than I am.
.-= LenciB: Falling Into favor´s last blog ..Mighty to Save =-.

Scott Barron May 5, 2010 at 10:37 am

I see the correlation. It reminds me of watching “The Apprentice” with Donald Trump. Every week we are entertained by watching entrepreneurs try to win the challenge and ultimately win the game.

What I find most interesting, and also commented on by Donald, is how the women & men play differently in the corporate world. It also shows how people who play nice and honest rarely win. They get fired because they are too nice to defend themselves.

It usually seems the snake in the grass or cockroaches are most successful. Not only are they resilient, but they’re not afraid to get dirty (if need be) to become a successful entrepreneur.
.-= Scott Barron´s last blog ..Avoid Home Distractions =-.

Kitchen Penguin May 6, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I’ll likely have to deal with some cockroaches this week since I’m back in Hawaii visiting the family. Having grown up dealing with the cockroaches that inspired the post, this is a very good comparison.
.-= Kitchen Penguin´s last blog ..Until We Cook Again =-.

harvestwages May 7, 2010 at 11:12 am

hey Ryan,
i think you spent a great time with roaches, they’ve never been my friends. Yet i make friends with entrepreneurs.
roaches are quicker than expected even though they bearly see. i think we ought to be be like them too. Quick at taking actions without fear of failure – we just need to have a clear picture of where we are heading to.
I appreciate your inspiration, i never thought something good could come from roaches.
.-= harvestwages´s last blog ..Diet and exercise For Self Empowerment =-.

Aury (Thunderdrake) May 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I really stand strong by the resilience part. Which is something I’ve picked up.

If there’s something I’ve learned about myself though, is that everyone around me, is so… Brainwashed with the employee mindset, that we pretty much terrify others with our desire not to succumb to such a mind numbing routine. No matter their intention, it’s almost habitual instinct for them to doubt and jeer dreamers who seek out this sort of thing. It’s scary, really…!

As for the quick notion, I can definitely vouch for that. Being self employed even, you have to pay attention to your surroundings. Unlike trading hours for pay, there’s little room for advancement, if there’s room at all. Working for one’s self? You can take advantage of huge oppurtunities…
.-= Aury (Thunderdrake)´s last blog ..Hoarding Dragon Basics – Investing in Precious Metals =-.

Alicia May 10, 2010 at 3:56 am

This is an interesting analogy. I like the second reasoning about not dying easily. In order to succeed you have to withstand obstacles and not let certain things get in your way. Also an entrepreneur has to adapt to many things as well.

Daddy Paul May 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm

“Do you have to deal with cockroaches?”
No I have too many skeeters, moths and box elder bugs.
Box elder bugs lay around in the sunshine and many die when it gets cold.
.-= Daddy Paul´s last blog ..The low risk portfolio =-.

Parag May 10, 2010 at 11:55 pm

I think you are as fast as cockroach (please don’t mind). You see it and strike with some idea. But yes, I too agree with majority of the comparisons you made. Newly established entrepreneurs have to be on their toes to survive any hits from its competitors. Their decision making power must be perfect and wise at the same time.
Personal finance

Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey May 12, 2010 at 6:46 am

I like how you related the two entities. We can learn from those little critters can’t we… LOL.

You are right, successful entrepreneurs are very adaptable and have the great ability to take a lick and keep on tickin.

Thanks for sharing!!
.-= Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey´s last blog ..Are You In Indifference Mode? =-.

ron May 14, 2010 at 11:35 am

kinda grossed out about a roach but I learned something from this article that can help me future wise with the way work with my blog . Thanks
.-= ron´s last blog ..The power of planning ! =-.

Darren May 20, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Funny you should mention roaches. We do get some here from time to time, so they definitely don’t go away.

Though they’re disgusting, I do appreciate the comparison regarding their persistence. I may squash one, but another comes back soon enough.

We should develop the same mentality!
.-= Darren´s last blog ..What’s More Important – Your Money Or Your Life? =-.

Financial Bondage July 5, 2010 at 12:36 pm

cockroaches have been around millions of years in pretty much the same form I have read. They have not changed much in all this time. Guess that is where their persistence comes in. We have none in our house. Good thing, I am allergic to them.

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